With the time difference in Hawaii, my current residence, it’s not always possible to watch games live. There was little doubt about the outcome going into the game (toes not withstanding) but I only got around to watching the game this morning. Since this game seemed like it would need little in terms of a summary, I thought I would do a different approach and just type in some thoughts as I watched)
- Bilikens play very Duke-like defense: high pressure man to man. Very young team though. The later doesn’t usually mix well with early season match-ups in Cameron.
- I know the producers/graphics people work hard to prepare for games, but the second most annoying thing to me about watching college basketball is being forced to watch some graphic or miscellaneous replay WHILE THE GAME IS GOING ON!! There are lots of times outs and stoppages, but please please please can we see all the action??? So we get this great graphic about all Duke’s current winning streaks - great - but we miss the in-bounds play that nets an inside attempt from Singler.
- In case you were wondering the most annoying thing watching college basketball as a Duke fan is having to listen to Dick Vitale rattle on every Devil game about how Duke gets everyone’s best shot, “Just like the Yankees in baseball and Notre Dame in football.” Earth to Mr. Vitale: While I’m sure people like to beat the Irish, Notre Dame hasn’t required everyone’s best shot in like 10-15 years. Time to retire that mantra.
- Good D from both teams early. Both missing some shots they need to make.
- Miles has been more assertive and aggresive the last few games, but we really don’t need him to take 10 foot Patrick Ewing-style driving hooks. I don’t think that is in the game plan.
- Kelley’s slow-footedness allows St Louis to double their point total 7 minutes in. An 8-4 barn builder so far.
- First open look for the Devils and Singler hits a 3 - very JJ Reddick like use of the screen a second time to get free.
- First time St Louis sends more that one man to the offensive glass they get a long rebound. Still a lot of missed shots for them.
- Singler called for travelling when he clearly had his shot blocked. Not sure what the official saw there. That fast break (and the one previous where Seth Curry missed the Plumlees underneath and turned it over trying a weak pass to a trailing Dawkins) is where we miss Kyrie though.
- Nolan Smith is a scorer. Nice finish in traffic. Steal and a even nicer finish to a fast break. Then the thunderous dunk on one of the first true defensive break-downs by St Louis. 19-6 this game looks over.
- 11 turnovers for St Louis in 12 minutes played. And the Bilikens getting demoralized/undisciplined on D. Back to back 3’s for Duke.
- Shakey free throw shooting for Duke thus far - incl Smith and Singler. 50% as a team.
- Couple of nice back door cuts for St Louis to finally crack double digits with 5 minutes left. Duke D is kind of inevitable that you are going to give up a few of them especially when the adrenaline starts flowing with blood in the proverbial water.
- Tough bucket for Singler and then a nice turnaround from Josh Hariston. Duke now has hit 10 straight shots.
- Dawkins has been MIA after a career game last time out. But Smith and Singler are the story thus far.
- McCall a couple of very nice transition finishes. He’s speedy. But Nolan gets an ‘and-one’ to close out the half.
(have to run out to play some golf now - its a hard knock life - will have some second half thoughts tonight)